Celina and Amanda met at a nail salon in their small Colorado town. As Celina tells it, she really wanted to talk to Amanda, but wasn’t sure what to say. They finally connected over tattoos, adoption, gel manicures, and Jimmy Johns.
This blog is about being friends, living in a small town with transracial families, laughing through the ups and downs of motherhood, and sharing our lives with you. We hope you find here a place to think critically, laugh loudly, and find beauty in your own quirky families and friends.
Welcome to the neighborhood!
Celina spent her childhood creating ruckus in the romantic neighborhoods of Rochester, New York. She escaped as quickly as possible and found her way to God’s country, where sunsets are orange and blue, and football teams win without scandal; marijuana is legal, and hiking trails and churches are one in the same. She even found a husband here. As they wrestle with marriage, dream jobs, children, and paleo-depression she has somehow found the beauty in what is. Celina is known by her friends as the most beautiful mix of authenticity, self-deprecation, encouragement, and hilarity.
She has found her niche not only as a wife and mom, but also as a small business owner who runs a mobile women’s and children’s clothing, gift and accessories boutique with her mom turned business partner. The Shabby Alpaca is a sweet little shop for you, your mom and all your friends.
Her family consists of herself, her wonderful husband Andy who, much to her surprise, adores her. Her son Vaughn and daughter Eloise who were adopted from the Democratic Republic of Congo, and her miracle toddler son Avett. They also have one large and ridiculously untrained dog named Wilson, a handful of hens named after country music legends like Dolly Parton and Lisa Marie Presley, and a kitten named Eleanor- who is the ultimate hipster cat with her glasses and elbow patches. Andy is the ultimate DIYer and Celina is a great project manager, together, they make a great team. They love their neighborhood and are working hard to be great neighbors.
Amanda didn’t have a perfect childhood, but she had a pretty damn good one. Parents who stayed married, stability, good grades and friends with matching outfits. She’s one of those rare Colorado natives; she traveled the world and came back to settle in the place she knows and loves best. Scandalously, she met her husband while he was leading a mission trip that she was on. She married young and never looked back. David, a private pilot, brought
chaos spontaneity, trips around the world, and romance to Amanda’s life.
Armed with a Social Work degree, Amanda began her career in Denver working with children and families in the foster care system. Her experiences led her to Trust Based Relational Intervention (TBRI®) which has paved the way for Emerge Family Connections, an agency she co-founded in 2012 that aims to equip professionals and parents in research-based techniques to help children with Complex Developmental Trauma. They do this though classroom teachings and in-home intensives. David and Amanda have fostered 11 kids, three of whom stayed forever. In addition, they have two biological bookend children.
To the onlooker, Amanda’s life is relatively insane. Five kids, two crazy dogs (one crazier than the other), a flock of hens and a community of people who live together with them in the depths of real life. The quiet life her neighbors dreamed of in the cul-de-sac where they live was shattered the day the Purvis’ moved in. Her kids bring light, color and laughter to the neighborhood. David travels regularly and somehow, they manage to maintain their connection and still live together even when they are apart.
Amanda’s friends know her as loving, accepting, welcoming, honest, funny, totally cool and a gatherer and connector of people. She tells it like it is. She loves you no matter what you do or say and a conversation with her is sure to open your mind to new ideas and thoughts. She teaches without trying and her love for her friends expands their hearts so they can love better.
(Any good fashion tips, awesome design, and other coolness about this blog is strictly Amanda’s doing. Celina regularly texts Amanda her outfit choices to be sure they are acceptable.)